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7 Signature DC Affordable Housing Projects

Affordable housing is steadily disappearing in the DC area, but nonprofits, religious organizations and a host of others are doing their best to fight that trend. That's why we're excited to present our New Era of Affordable Housing: What's next for the Baltimore-Washington Metro this Thursday, June 18, at the Renaissance DC Downtown, starting at 7:30am. Meantime, here are some new and upcoming developments that are trying to keep the District's lower-income residents in town. 

1. Arlington Mill Residences


Location: 909 S Dinwiddie St, Arlington
: Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH)
Units: 122
Development Cost: $30.9M
Open: Early 2014

APAH’s award-winning development was built on county-owned land next to a sparkling new community center. The Arlington Mill Residences had thousands on its waiting list months before it opened, and it did not disappoint: it’s won numerous awards since, including ULI’s Trend Award for Excellence in Housing Development. APAH has three other projects in the pipeline: The Springs near Ballston, Parc Rosslyn and Columbia Hills, down the street from Arlington Mill.

2. Brookland Art Space Lofts


Location: 3305 8th St NE
: Artspace, Dept. of Housing and Community Development
Units: 41
Development Cost: $13.2M
Open: September 2014

Dance Place was operating in a worn-down building in Northeast DC’s Brookland neighborhood for years when DHCD came a-knocking. The space was torn down and reopened last fall as a 47k SF artist housing project. Thirty-nine of the 41 units are affordable and include studio space for the artists living there. Phase 2, which will include an expanded theater and outdoor performance plaza, has now been fully funded.

3. Trinity Plaza


Location: 21 Atlantic Ave SW
Developer: Mission First Housing, Far SE/SW CDC
Units: 49
Development Cost: $17.9M
Open: May 2015

This Ward 8 development just opened last month, and the "affordable" tag belies how nice this building is, with a fitness center and landscaped terrace. Mid-Atlantic Enterprise Community Partners VP and market leader David Bowers, who'll be a panelist, coordinated the financing for the church that owns the land. The building will include a pharmacy and restaurant on the ground floor, and includes underground parking.

4. 2321 4th St NE


Location: The corner of 4th Street and Rhode Island Ave NE
Developer: E&G, H Street CDC
Units: 116
Development Cost: $32M
Open: May 2016

Heroin Hotel no more. The H Street CDC bought the abandoned building near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro stop years ago, known for its popularity among intravenous drug users, and tore it down. David tells us Enterprise helped with $10M of LIHTC financing and provided technical assistance to make the building greener. This is one of several developments, including the Edgewood Commons revitalization, that are popping up around the Metro and preserving the area's affordable stock.

5. The Bonifant


Location: 929 Bonifant St, Silver Spring
Developer: JV with Donohoe, Montgomery Housing Partnership
Units: 149
Development Cost: $44M
Open: Spring 2016

This JV right next to Silver Spring Library will be a seniors-only building and provide units at a mix of incomes, from 30% to 60% of AMI and a few that have no restrictions, with 6,300 SF of ground-floor retail and all the posh amenities an 11-story building under construction in this area can expect. It's the first housing development built on Montgomery County-owned land next to a public facility in history, and, if it performs as expected, it won't be the last.

6. Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments


Location: 15th and U streets NW
Developer: Jair Lynch Development Partners
Units: 171
Development Cost: $4.2M
Completed: 2012

One of the more high-profile affordable housing preservation projects of the last few years, Jair Lynch partnered with the Dunbar Apartments' owners in 2011 to pay $43.3M for the senior housing building. Using LIHTC and a DC tax abatement, the developer spent $25k per unit to upgrade HVAC, kitchens and bathrooms, and keep rents at up to five times below market rate. Jair Lynch investment manager Phuc Tran, also a panelist on Thursday, tells us his company just finished landscaping the courtyard this year in a separate project.

7. McMillan Park


Location: Former McMillan Sand Filtration Site
Developer: Jair Lynch Development Partners
Units: 110
Development Cost: $22M
Open: 2018

Jair Lynch, as part of a JV with EYA and Trammell Crow, is developing the multifamily housing on the 26-acre McMillan site. Eighty-five of the planned units will be in an affordable senior housing building, which will sit atop a grocery store. Jair will also construct a 250-unit building, 25 of which will be affordable at 80% of AMI on Parcel 2. Trammell Crow will build the 1M SF of planned office space, while EYA will build 100 townhouses. Phuc says they hope to start building in late 2016, with an expected 18-month construction timeline.

You can hear Phuc, Daniel and Mayor Muriel Bowser, among others, speak about the New Era of Affordable Housing on Thursday at the Renaissance DC Downtown. Sign up here!